Resume Vs. CV : What's the difference?

August 4, 2018

If you’re residing in USA or Canada, then you might have come across a resume and a CV. Well, at the first glimpse, these documents might just seem to be the same. But, there’s a huge difference between both the documents. So, to know how both, the resume and CV are distinct in every way, you need to scroll ahead.


Before moving ahead, you should know what a resume and a CV is all about.

A resume is nothing but a short document that gives a brief overview of the work experience. In French, since the word means ‘to sum up’, the resume speaks more about the achievements and years of experience. On the other hand, a CV is quite long as compared to a resume. While the multi-page document states the professional experience and everything related to academics, it states the details clearly. Moreover, the applicant should present the CV only when he or she is applying for a scholarship or a position in the research department. Now, let’s see what’s the difference between a resume and a CV.

In the United States, the purpose of presenting the document marks the prime difference. While an individual can use a resume for applying to any kind of job, the Curriculum Vitae should only be used whenever the person is applying for high-paying job profiles. The other differences lie in the layout, length, and the information that’s included in the document.

When it comes to length, a resume should ideally be a single page document with two pages as the maximum limit. But, a CV doesn’t have a page limit. The document can comprise a few pages as the applicant gives a brief account of his qualifications, and prior experience.

As far as the layout is concerned, resumes have the contact details along with a short summary and the objectives. Moreover, the education and the experience section follows immediately after the summary. In case the person doesn’t have experience in a particular field, then he may initially prefer to state the qualifications. While he is compiling the multi-page document, he can display the information in the reverse chronological order. In the end, he may include a section pertaining to the skills, and the hobbies he has been pursuing. When the person is concerned about the layout of a CV, he can define it as per his preference. In case he is unaware about how a CV appears, then he can surf the internet and check out the relevant documents posted online.

In a resume, it’s important to state the contact details, Work Experience, qualifications, Summary, hobbies, and the skills. But, a CV can include everything that the person has accomplished till date. He can also highlight and include certain information in the document. In case he has been carrying out a research for a long time, then he can impress the interviewer by stating the names of publications, certifications, and a shot description of the thesis. Besides, he can move ahead to state awards and if he is actively involved with an association.

The term, ‘CV’ has a totally different meaning altogether when it’s referred in countries other than the US. In European Union countries, a ‘CV’ is equivalent to a ‘resume’. So, when a person applies for a job in UK or Denmark, the employer would ask him to present his CV. Another significant difference is that the CV has to be presented with a photograph on the first page. But, in places like Portugal, it’s not necessary to have a photo on the CV.

Finally, if the individual is applying for a job in USA, then he may not require a CV. Instead, he should sum up his experience in a resume and know all the things that he can probably exclude. For eliminating the confusion, he should know the answers to the questions related to ‘Resume Vs CV’ and be aware of different terms. This knowledge is useful especially when the applicant is traveling abroad or finding a job in a different country. He also needs to take care of the layout and ensure that the document is understood at the first glance.